Avon Descent Thoughts from #626


by Len Christie
© 2009 L. Christie
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For Avon Descenters, 2009:
Some reflections from # 626

- Enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the great privilege of paddling this magnificent river.
- Take strength from the encouragement of the spectators and support crew. Acknowledge them.
- Get into a regular and comfortable stroke rate and stick to it. Don't knock yourself out in the mad dash from the start.

- Whatever happensjust keep going.
- The adventure begins when things start going wrong.
- It's the unexpected and not the expected that makes this memorable.
- Pain is not an option, however, suffering is.
- Look at the rocks / ti trees and you'll probably hit the rocks / ti trees.

- Take your licks on your helmet when going through ti tree sections and on the soles of your rubber booties after baling out of your kayak in rapids. Keep your knees bent to absorb shock.
- Wear gloves for protection and warmth.
- Wear thermals.
- Focus on the chosen passage / line and paddle hard for it.

- Take satisfaction and pride from the progress and each goal achieved.
- Lean the boat down stream if you find yourself up against a ti tree.
- Respond, but do not over react when the going gets bumpy.
- Stay calm and steady. Do not wobble.
- Use the force. Go with the flow by understanding and getting in tune with the nature of the water.
- The water flows between the obstacles.
- Do everything to get the right line even if you have to wait a little while.

- Low brace.
- Once you have the right line, commit and go for it.
- Use your forward scouts / probes. Watch them and learn from them.
- Maintain contact.
- Be decisive.
- Be aware of the civil war in your head, but switch off the negative and keep going.
- Remember that you have greater reserves of inner strength and energy than you imagine.
- Drink and eat fairly regularly.

- Don't quit easily.
- Feeling cold? Paddle faster, eat more and drink more.
- Don't be intimidated.
- If you swim don't despair. You'll end up on the bank refreshed with your kayak rinsed. Have a snack and get going.
- If it gets too roughget out and swim. (Although this is usually beyond our control!)
The pain disappears once you've crossed the line!

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